An Mileoidean Scaoilte

By Johnny Connolly

Eight comments

"The Unlocked Melodeon"

On Clo Iar-Chonachta Records (CICD 157). Gorgeous, moderately paced melodeon playing from Connolly with Charlie Lennon doing his stuff -as Charlie does so well - on the piano.

Having heard some tracks of this recording on the latest show of "Culan," I instantly added it to my wish list. Quite a good number of old, familiar tunes magically turn into gorgeous masterpieces. You should check the radio programme untill next Sunday.

What key melodeon does he play on this album?

Tracks 3, 13 and 15 are on a C Hohner according to the liner notes, although there may be other tracks on a C as well. The other tracks are on a D melodeon by a maker called Martyn, whom I haven’t been able to find in a few quick searches.

"The Connemara Set" ~ supposedly, tracks 7, 8, 9 & 10

I also enjoy this recording, and for some of the same reasons already given, but I really wanted this for tracks 7 - 10 after hearing these were put together for "The Connemara Set". Loving the tempos, the reels give an little more for the dance, roughly between 118 and 120, I was disappointed on several points, which I’ll give now, track by track ~

The Connemara Set

- 7.) 1st Figure ~ reels ~ The first disappointment is the interruption, the addition of some fine sean nos stepping halfway through, with the tune change. If you want to use this track for set dancing, which was my hope, the stepping jars, is in the way… While it would have been fine elsewhere, and I would have appreciated it so, it is a nuisance added here, if you want to use this for the set. Additionally ~ the track is 32 bars too long = two 32 bar reels three times each, without an 8-bar ‘introduction’, just right into AABB - - -… It has a total bar count of 192 (6 x 32). The first figure of The Connemara Set only requires 160 bars…

- 8.) 2nd Figure ~ reels ~ again no intro, but I can live with that, the count here is fine and fits the figure… The bar count is 192 (6 x 32).

- 9.) 3rd Figure ~ reels ~ again no intro, but as said, that’s OK, however, this one is 8 bars too long for the figure. The bar count here is again 192 (3 x 32 + 6 x 16).

10.) 4th Figure ~ polkas ~ "Maggie in the Woods" ~ and this, again no intro, is just right for the figure, 96 bars (3 x 32).

It’s still a lovely album despite this disappointment. I was so hoping to be able to let others enjoy dancing to this music, and probably will anyway. There’s a lovely waltz set, track 11… 😉

~ the reels for the dance, tracks 7 - 9, up the tempo a little more compared to the other reel sets, approximately 118 - 120 bpm…

I wasn’t paying attention when I started the above comment… 😏

About "no entry" mentioned above, I mean no extra A part, starting ‘A’-AABB, instead you start on the second A part, ‘A’-ABB using that as the introduction… I also use other of his recordings for teaching sets/dances from Galway & Mayo, and for sean nos stepping…